Tangy, fresh and healthy – that’s the best way to describe the Mango Salad. Unlike the typical leafy salad we often see in western dishes, this salad is all about mango, peanuts and that Thai spices we are always craving for. The Mango salad is always a great accompaniment for any rice dish, and it is also perfect and beautiful on its own, especially for those who like a little tanginess in their meal. Unlike the leafy salad, the mango salad is readily available in the street of Thailand, and almost every Thai restaurant in Malaysia serve it on the menu.
Salad in Thai Cuisine
Salad is a crucial part of Thai cuisine. The Thais often used unripe fruit and vegetables, sometimes accompanied with a choice of protein and their very own sour sauce. In Thai cuisine, there are four main types of salads – Yam, Tam, Lap and Phla. The mango salad belongs to the Tam category, which explains why it is often called Som Tam. The Yam is often used to refer to a salad that has a combination of protein, fruit and vegetable, noodles and spices. When ordering a salad in this category, you can expect a full meal consisting of fermented sausages in the shape of a meatball along with peanuts and shallots, for example, Yam Naem Khao Thot.
The Larp and the Phla, on the other hand, is a salad that mainly comprises of proteins like beef or pork. The main difference between Larp and Phla is that phla is made with protein that is not cooked through while Larp is typically made with crunched glutinous rice to give it its nutty flavour. The Tam, which is one of the most popular selections of Thai salad, is usually made from unripe fruits like papaya and mango. To make the dressing for the salad, one would have to mix palm-sugar, dried shrimp, fish sauce, garlic and lime juice. The dish is typically served with crushed peanuts, glass noodles and dressing but modern restaurants often add protein to the mixture. Some might even mix ripe mangoes with the unripe mangoes to add a little bit of sweetness to the dish.
Health Benefit of the Mango Salad
In general Thai dishes, such as mango salad, are often packed with health benefits. It is believed that consuming an unripe mango will give you the same amount of Vitamin C when eating three oranges, 18 bananas and 35 apples. Its high Vitamin C content can help to treat blood disorders and increase your body’s resistance against anaemia and Tuberculosis. Eating Mango salad is also a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin B6.
Where to get the best Mango Salad in Malaysia
If you’re all about that zesty, healthy living, head over to MyElephant Thai located in Section 17, Petaling Jaya for their Mango Salad with Shrimp or if you want more options, head to Baan 26 situated in Bukit Bintang (in the Changkat stretch) and take a pick between their Thai Mango Salad with Crispy Cat Fish or the Thai Mango Salad with Dry Shrimp. Visit foodpanda to find out more about Thai dishes.